Music is far more than a sequence of chords or a harmonious blend of sound. While this may come across as excessively poetic, embedding music into your daily routine can be a physically, emotionally and mentally transformative experience.
Whether it’s simply listening to music or learning to create it yourself, you may find yourself achieving more, living better and overcoming obstacles by adding a little artful melody to life.
The Proven Benefits of Good Sound
Although it can be helpful to learn a musical instrument, there is ultimately no necessity for any expertise to reap great benefits from music.
Just listening to music can potentially:
> Improve focus. The right music isn’t distracting. On the contrary, it adds longevity to your attention span.
> Enhance memorization. It is far easier to recall something when it is associated with rhythm. This is especially true when the music is memorable or likable.
> Maintain a positive mood. The release of endorphins by listening to music can create a sense of excitement or happiness.
> Calm negative or overstimulated emotions. While some music can excite, others are capable of calming anxiety. The psychological influence of music, especially ones you enjoy, can result in eased breathing and a slower heart rate.
> Assist with physical discomfort. It isn’t that music distracts you from pain. Rather, the potential adrenaline felt through music can act as a natural painkiller.
> Elevate self-esteem. Don’t underestimate good lyrics. There are countless songs in existence, and many of them can be deeply relatable. Regularly listening to such music can create a sense of belonging, that others understand you, which in turn can uplift your confidence.
> Strengthen your physical ability. Studies show that music can improve the results of physical exertions, such as during exercise. You end up moving faster, lifting heavier weights, or become fitter at a faster rate.
> Foster better social interaction. Music can be used to effectively communicate your thoughts and emotions when self-expression is difficult. It also has the added benefit of controlling emotional outbursts.
Getting In Tune With Personalized Music
Figure out what kind of music creates the emotional and mental state you desire. This involves personal exploration, as not all music is equal to an individual.
One UK study indicated that music from Bob Marley, Queen and Pink Floyd are very effective when used as part of music therapy. Other studies indicate that classical and soft pop genres are best for assisting relaxation.
That said, keep in mind that your specific circumstances, such as your cultural background and age, might cause your preferences to deviate from the perceived majority.
Listen to as much music as you are able to, from ambient sounds to even heavier genres. Perhaps orchestral music isn’t calming to you, but instead complements physical activity. Maybe you somehow find the heavy metal genre relaxing.
Either way, take the time to experiment and find your niche.
Understanding Music On A Deeper Level
You can gain even greater benefits from music by learning some of the art and science behind it. Being in a wheelchair, using prosthetics or having learning difficulties does not prevent one from engaging more passionately in music. This may include:
> Vocalization exercises. This has the added benefit of building confidence in making your voice heard.
> Learning a musical instrument. Enhancing your skill-set this way can greatly improve your self-esteem. It also serves as a good conversation starter and opens up doors into more social groups. There are specialised instruments available that are specifically tailored for those with disabilities.
> Songwriting. This exercises your creative abilities while also assisting with self-expression.
> Music therapy. Clinically-proven usage of music with a medical professional can do wonders for physical and psychological betterment.
> Lyrical discussion. This can directly improve your communication skills through the exchange of ideas and breaking down the deeper meanings of words behind music.
> Dancing. Moving to a tune is a fun way of exercising. The physical exertion keeps you fit while improving your mood or removing mental distractions.
To some, music is medication – non-chemical, easy to digest, with zero side effects. To others, it’s a companion – a partner that consoles and supports, reminding you that life gets better and can be beautiful.
Regardless, life will probably be less monotonous with a little more melody.
AbleLight (2022) The Power of Music for Someone with a Disability [Accessed: 15 August 2022] Available at: https://ablelight.org/blog/the-power-of-music-for-someone-with-a-disability/
Sophia Alexandra Hall (2022) The game-changing instruments disabled musicians can play using just their eyes [Accessed: 15 August 2022] Available at: https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/accessible-instruments-disabled-musicians/
CAMT, Wilfrid Laurier University (2022) Music Therapy for Physical Disabilities [Accessed: 17 August 2022] Available at: https://www.mtabc.com/what-is-music-therapy/how-does-music-therapy-work/physical-disabilities/